The Long Life & Great Good Fortune of John Clare
After a hugely successful Spring Tour, and following public demand, we are taking John Clare out on the road again, visiting places we missed on our last outing, and including a week-long run at the Pleasance Theatre in London.
We think we know all about John Clare – ‘innocent poet’ sent to the asylum by the evil Doctor Skrimshire’.
On the one hand he was an admired chronicler of change and recorder of Nature, an eco-warrior for his time, railing against the enclosure land-grabbers. But we also see him as someone robbed of his birthright, the patsy of publishers and professionals and a madman unfairly locked up for his visions.
Clare is remembered for his life more than his poetry – lime-burner, labourer, womaniser, walker, visionary lunatic – with his experiences increasingly used as a yardstick for our own issues. But, in Tony Ramsay’s play, a new John Clare emerges, set free from the story of his life.